Posted on Jan 12th 2010

MyEclipse announced today a partnership with Skyway Software to jointly develop a product "MyEclipse for Spring." The partnership makes sense for a lot of reasons, but chief among them is that the Spring Framework is among the most frequently utilized and requested by MyEclipse customers.

MyEclipse has always been dedicated to the Spring feature set, and many customers think Genuitec's innovative implementation of Spring tooling is the best in the business. After shipping millions of downloads of Spring tooling, you would think that Spring would be ecstatic. After all, open source companies are looking for three things: adoption, adoption, adoption. So what better than a pervasive IDE like MyEclipse to disseminate your technologies for you, advertise for you, innovate for you and relentlessly deliver for you? Let's up the ante and deliver a WHOLE PRODUCT dedicated to development around your wildly successful framework. Any other company would be coming out of their shoes for those kinds of requests.

But, Spring has never seen the goodness in that play. They seem to want to get recognition for their great framework (and it IS great), but without anyone else playing on the field.

Adam Fitzgerald, director of developer relations at SpringSource, was dismissive of the Genuitec product. He instead endorsed the free SpringSource Tool Suite as a mechanism for building Spring applications.

"I would recommend going with the tool that comes [from] the company that created Spring," Fitzgerald said. "[The suite] really is the most cutting-edge way to build Spring apps."

So today, Spring publicly discounted the new Genuitec offering without a peek - also knocking on their own certified partner (Skyway) in the process when, by association, they have devalued Skyway's contributions to the Spring community.

By proxy, Adam must also then assume that the best innovations come from the creators only. In that argument, Eclipse itself is unsuccessful, since it's now a Foundation and not coming only from IBM.

Spring wants to be an elite tooling company, and tries to direct everyone to their own offerings. Perhaps rather than pouting about others playing with their "baby" and trying to garner all the glory, a wiser approach would be to embrace the hands that feed you and develop a nice ecosystem of success around partner offerings - and then tout them as legitimacy of your own achievements. Perhaps Spring should update their tooling occasionally to keep customers on the cutting edge. Perhaps they should acknowledge that everyone wanting to use your stuff is success, not competition.

Genuitec will continue to drive Spring adoption and assist customers in understanding, developing and innovating around Spring technologies, and we look forward to the launch of the joint product. Meantime, hopefully the Spring guys will wake up and embrace their own success. They've created such a popular framework that other companies want to build whole product lines around it. Sounds like a win-win to me.